Thursday, September 21, 2006

This morning in my scripture reading, I read from the Book of Mormon. It told of a man, Nehor, who went about preaching and building himself up. To get the support of the people, he appealed to their carnal man. He told them what Satan told people in the councils in heaven to gain their approval: God loves all of you and doesn't want anyone to be left out. Everyone can be saved, so don't worry about those people who tell you to be good and repent. In the scriptures, he said they "need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men and had also redeemed all men; and in the end, all men should have eternal life."

At first, these words sound appealing. Of course the Lord loves all of us. Of course he wants us all to have eternal life and all be saved. This much is true. The false teaching in all of this comes when he teaches that all men WILL be saved. The beauty of this life is that we were all given the power to choose for ourselves. Imagine how different life would be if we had no power to choose--there would be no point really in coming to earth if everything were already decided for us. We would be robots. This life is the time for us to prepare to meet God. To live in the presence of God after we die, we can't be sinners, liars, murderers, adulterers, or thieves. We must be striving to become like Him and be humble and penitent before Him.

When I read this passage this morning, I felt like I needed to explain this concept so I could remember it and understand it. Nehor, the antichrist, was appealing to the natural man. Of course his concepts sounded (mostly) right to people and the concept that they were ok as they were and didn't need to change sounded so easy and appealing. But the Lord's plan wasn't meant to be easy. When we understand the fact that He wants us to learn and grow and become our best selves, this then appeals to our spirits and we can feel so much more the joy that comes through living the gospel. The whole "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" mentality gives a false sense of happiness. Short term thrills fall short of giving us everlasting happiness.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The rewards are far greater!

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